It’s about time! The TV and film world has seen several iterations of Sherlock Holmes, a world that has time and again portrayed Dr. Watson as only his sidekick. However, a new dawn is breaking for the physician as CBS has announced a new series in the works that will focus on the character and his own unique exploits sans his detective counterpart. Titled Watson, the series will be written by Craig Sweeny, who played a major role as executive producer for several seasons of Elementary, a procedural show also from CBS that added a modern spin to the beloved character that is Sherlock Holmes.
The final episodes of Elementary saw Holmes fake his own death as a trick to topple Odin Reichenbach, however in this latest iteration, CBS will be playing with the idea of a really dead Sherlock Holmes. Watson will be set a year after Holmes’ death at the hands of his nemesis, Moriarty, and see Dr. Watson resurrect his medical career “as the head of a clinic dedicated to treating rare disorders.” However, while Watson has been described as a “medical drama with a strong investigative spine,” intrigue is to be expected as Moriarty will be out to make life difficult for the smart physician. As with Elementary, Watson is equally set in a contemporary world and will follow Watson as he “turns his attention from solving crimes to addressing the greatest mystery of all: illness, and the ways it disrupts our lives.”
Sir Arthur Conan Doyle‘s century-old creation has been widely opined by fans and critics to be in desperate need of fresh interpretations, and CBS continues to take bold steps in this direction. However, if history is anything to go by, portraying Holmes as dead would seem to be a risky step that could be met with mixed reactions. The attempt to kill off Holmes was first experimented by its creator Doyle in his 1893 short story The Final Problem, a move that triggered massive fan uproar which Doyle could not ignore, and consequently led to his subsequent resurrection of the character for more stories. However, that was centuries ago, and if the appetite of fans have indeed evolved with the times, then CBS could be poised for another hit with the Sherlock Holmes universe after the massive success of Elementary, which ran for 7 seasons and starred Jonny Lee Miller as Sherlock Holmes and Lucy Liu as Dr. Joan Watson.
Watson is not the only upcoming iteration of the Sherlock Holmes franchise, Enola Holmes 2, a sequel to 2020’s Enola Holmes, which stars Henry Cavill as Holmes, is set to premiere next month. There have also been talks of Robert Downey Jr., working on spin-offs and possibly a third installment of the Sherlock Holmes film series with Downey to return as the fictional detective.
Sweeny, in addition to writing the series, will executive produce alongside Aaron Kaplan and Brian Morewitz of Kapital Entertainmnt, as well as Shäron Moalem MD, PhD. The latter is a scientist, geneticist, physician, and bestselling author whose professional experience will no doubt come in handy as they paint a scientifically fact-filled yet fictional world for Dr John Watson. As always, stay tuned at Collider for more updates on the series as it develops.